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Nigel Lythgoe slaps Simon Cowell over 'American Idol' idea

February 17, 2012 |  4:23 pm

Nigel Lythgoe tweets about Cowell idea

In one corner, Simon Cowell. In the other, his former boss on "American Idol," Nigel Lythgoe.

Lythgoe has zinged Cowell on Twitter, just as Cowell says he is getting ready to announce "surprises," presumably related to new judges and a host for the Season 2 rollout of "The X Factor" on Fox this fall.

Cowell proposed late Thursday that the winner of the U.S. "X Factor" could have a "super-final" sing-off with the winners of "Idol" — which Lythgoe executive produces — and NBC's "The Voice."

"Just a thought," Cowell tweeted. "I'd be up for it."

Lythgoe had a thought too: Forget it. "The problem is the 'Idol' winner will be a star by then," Lythgoe wrote via Twitter.

Slam! As "Idol" has lost ratings steam this season, Lythgoe and "Idol" judge Randy Jackson have argued that it still has a huge advantage over the other singing shows given its long record of producing recording stars such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Scotty McCreery. Neither "X Factor" or "The Voice" has done that yet, although it's early — "The Voice" just started its second season.

Meanwhile, Cowell — who had his own ratings issues on "X Factor"— is focused on starting over after a housecleaning that booted judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger along with host Steve Jones. Numerous reports have indicated that Janet Jackson is about to be tapped for a role, although nothing official has been announced yet.




What happened when "American Idol" contestants hit Vegas?

Why some cheered Nicole Scherzinger's boot on "X Factor"

What's behind "American Idol's" ratings comedown?

—Scott Collins (

Photo: Nigel Lythgoe, above, has rejected a "super-final" proposal from Simon Cowell. Credit: Henry Ray Abrams/Associated Press.